Resolving Material Culture Disputes: Human Rights, Property Rights and Crimes Against Humanity

in James A. R. Nafziger & Ann M Nicgorski, eds., Cultural Heritage Issues: The Legacy of Conquest, Colonization and Commerce (Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff, 2009) 371-388

Posted: 28 Mar 2014

See all articles by Robert Kirkwood Paterson

Robert Kirkwood Paterson

University of British Columbia - Faculty of Law

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

Artworks stolen from victims of the Nazis, along with the material cultural heritage of many indigenous peoples removed during colonialism, have both been the subject of significant literature in recent years. Few writers, however, seem to have attempted to compare these two categories with each other. This may partly be explained by the scarcity of reported judicial decisions concerning claims for the return of Indigenous material, in comparison to the relatively large number of cases brought to recover artworks stolen by the Nazi regime. This chapter will first endeavor to explore whether these two types of claims should be treated according to similar principles or whether they present differences that warrant contrasting approaches. It will then discuss appropriate strategies, besides litigation, for resolving disputes involving both types of claims.

Keywords: Artworks, Cultural property, Indigenous Peoples, Colonialism, Nazi plunder, Theft, Repatriation

Suggested Citation

Paterson, Robert Kirkwood, Resolving Material Culture Disputes: Human Rights, Property Rights and Crimes Against Humanity (2009). in James A. R. Nafziger & Ann M Nicgorski, eds., Cultural Heritage Issues: The Legacy of Conquest, Colonization and Commerce (Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff, 2009) 371-388 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2416548

Robert Kirkwood Paterson (Contact Author)

University of British Columbia - Faculty of Law ( email )

1822 East Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z1
Canada

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